We’re excited to welcome Makenzie to the Raven Radio staff. You might recognize her voice as the host of Poetry Unbound on Sundays. We took a moment to ask her a few questions!

Would you tell us where you come from? What is your background?

I was born and raised in Anchorage and did a lot of camping, hiking, and cross country skiing around South Central Alaska as a kid. I went out of state for college — I spent two years at the University of Montana, Missoula and finished up at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, studying French and English.

I’ve always loved to travel and live in different places so I spent a lot of my twenties, in college and out, moving around in the United States and living in French speaking countries abroad. I eventually went to graduate school back in Anchorage to teach middle and high school and ended up in Sitka when my husband landed a job at Pacific High School. I’ve worked a lot in education and social services and am really excited to be trying something new, working in public radio!

Where does your love for public radio come from?

I grew up listening to NPR and KSKA and still remember my mother telling me as a kid how incredibly important independent news and radio are for a healthy democracy to function. She’s a huge proponent of public radio and passed that love on to me and my sister.

What do you do in your position?

I get to help ensure that Raven Radio has the necessary financial support to function! It’s a big job and incredibly important, especially in a time of uncertain state budgets. I work with local and regional organizations to develop underwriting contracts where they sponsor KCAW in return for getting their name on the air. I also work with community members to help raise support for Raven Radio during our two annual membership drives and organize special events like the Stardust Ball.

What are you most excited about?

Professionally I’m really excited to be entering the world of public radio! It’s great to be able to work for an organization that you really believe in and whose work creates tangible benefits in your community. Personally, my husband and I are looking forward to having our first child in the spring!

Why is KCAW important?

I think it’s really critical to have local reporters keeping us informed on the issues that affect us. Alaska is a huge state and while keeping up with state-wide news is important, I want to know that community members invested in our region and the issues that matter most to us are reporting on our news in an objective and independent way.

KCAW is a also a critical news source in the event of an emergency, telling us what’s happened and where to go for safety.

Finally, I’ve never lived anywhere where the local radio station was such a huge catalyst for community as Raven Radio is in Sitka. Before working here I was, and still am, a volunteer. I love that Raven Radio brings people together by being a hub where anyone can learn to be a DJ and share what they are passionate about with the community.

Interested in working with Makenzie to raise funds for Raven Radio? Join the Development Committee! Our first meeting will be Wednesday, February 13th at the Cable House, starting at 6 PM. This committee will focus on coordinating special events. Join us!